Promoting British Values
The DfE have recently reinforced the need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.”
The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values have been reiterated by the Prime Minister this year. At Belmont these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is promoted within the school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Parliament and Council and in pupil questionnaires. The elections of the School Parliament, Council and House Captains are based purely on pupil votes.
Staff promote pupil voice in the classroom through a range of strategies, including Kagan Cooperative Learning Strategies, Circle Time, decisions on classroom rules and expressing preferences in Golden Time choices.
We also have visits and assemblies from local politicians, including our local MP. We actively explore how injustice is challenged through our curriculum, for example studying the life of Nelson Mandela in RE and examining issues of injustice in World War 2 in History.
The Rule of Law:
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days and through assemblies. The children are taught right from wrong. Pupils are taught the value and reason behind laws; that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from the authorities, such as the Police; fire service; Road Safety Officers etc are regular parts of our calendar and help to reinforce this message. There is a clear Behaviour Policy for all. Each family is made fully aware of our Behaviour Policy, as well as other linking themes. Codes for living in different religions and the significance of the Golden Rule for religious and non-religious people allows pupils to discuss the importance of this value.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing they are in a safe and supportive environment. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of challenge, how they record work or participation in numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, our pupils are given freedom to make choices. All classes work towards incentives such as ‘Golden Time’ where their choices affect the outcomes for themselves personally as well as the whole class. We also try to give ownership of learning to our children and promote a personal investigative approach. At break times and lunchtimes the children are allowed to use the outside spaces according to personal choices. Our shared values in the school promote both staff and children as good role models and we take opportunities to challenge stereotypes whenever the opportunity arises. Opportunities are also taken to explore that with individual liberty and freedom come responsibilities to the local community and wider world.
Our school ethos and behaviour policy are centred on the core value of respect and pupils are regularly involved in discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. The school promotes respect for ourselves and others and this is reflected in our classrooms and learning rules as well as our rewards and sanctions policy.
The children themselves take responsibility for Friendship Benches, whereby they promote friendship and respect. Our Equality and Inclusion policy reflects this core value and professional development explores how we engender a respectful ethos. We support events such as Anti-bullying Week.
We actively promote mutual respect when exploring the lives, cultures and faiths of others in our global learning, PSHE, Circle Time and RE activities across the school. We provide opportunities for pupils to develop respect for others through curriculum enrichment activities, such as Chinese Dragon Dancers, theatre companies and storytellers.
We promote respect through having an active Accessibility Plan where we promote inclusion and use videos and visitors with disabilities to talk to the children. We support charities which promote respect and tolerance eg The Royal British Legion and Footprints Orphanage in Kenya.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
This is achieved through enhancing pupils’ understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. As part of our RE curriculum we visit places of worship including a Hindu mandir, churches and mosques. As a school we have been awarded the full International Schools Award by working with other schools in Japan, Kenya, Australia and Bangladesh. We are a Global Learning Programme Expert Centre and work to actively promote this work in our local schools.
Kindred Spirits – Shared Values Project
Belmont Primary School is excited to announce their participation in a brand new project called ‘Kindred Spirits – Shared Values’. This project has been organised by an Independent Global Learning Consultant and Researcher and the Humanities Education Centre in Tower Hamlets. The aim of the project is to look at British Values through a global learning lens. Belmont are one of ten primary schools in the East Midlands to be specially selected for this project and it will operate over the coming academic year. The project has initially been placed in Year 4 and we have been linked with Shapla Primary School in Tower Hamlets. Over the coming months our children will work closely with the Year 4 children in Shapla Primary on activities such as ‘Getting to know you’, a joint project with exchanged work and a ‘Through the lens’ photography activity.
The project promises to be a wonderful and exciting experience for our children and we are looking forward to getting started. If you are interested in joining us in this project work then please contact Mrs Haigh, Miss Hilton or Mrs Smith for further information.